Attorney general gets tough on fraud

Fraud reporting centre in the pipeline...
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

Fraud reporting centre in the pipeline...

The government is to launch a national anti-fraud strategy, as its legal advisors have said a more unified effort is required to beat scammers and thieves.

Attorney general Lord Goldsmith said that while public and private sector organisations are working to stop fraud, many are duplicating data so they should work together.

In a speech to a government fraud panel yesterday, Goldsmith said: "There is currently no national strategy for fighting fraud. Many departments and agencies have their own strategies for dealing with some aspects of the problem. Some are good but there are gaps and overlaps in the system and not all departments and agencies are well enough co-ordinated."

The Office of the Attorney General yesterday released a report on its progress in tackling fraud, which includes online and telephone scams.

Goldsmith added: "The fraud review is looking at the option of establishing a national fraud reporting centre that would receive all reports of fraud and analyse them to produce a proper fraud intelligence database."

Goldsmith has also called for more resources to be dedicated to fighting fraud.

Since the introduction of chip and PIN technology in the UK, card fraud has fallen by 13 per cent to £439.4m in the 12 months, according to the latest figures from payments industry body Apacs.

While fraud on the high street has dropped, the figures show criminals have turned their attention to the internet, phone and mail order transactions. As a result, card-not-present fraud has grown 21 per cent, reaching £183.2m in 2005. In addition online banking fraud losses doubled in the last year to £23.2m because of the rise in email phishing scams that dupe customers into handing over their identities.

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